Jokowi breaks ground on airport in planned new capital

The airport, worth Rp 4.3 trillion, is located about 43 kilometres from the center of Nusantara, and will be connected by an existing road and a 23-km toll road.

Abdallah Naem

Abdallah Naem

The Jakarta Post


This handout photo taken and released on March 14, 2022 from the Presidential Palace shows Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (second left) mixing water and samples of soil from 34 provinces during a ceremony in Penajam Paser Utara, East Kalimantan on March 14, 2022, as the government prepares to move its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan. PHOTO: AFP/THE JAKARTA POST

November 2, 2023

JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Wednesday broke ground on the construction of an airport in the country’s new capital city, Nusantara.

“I officially declare that the airport construction has begun,” said Jokowi in the ceremony.

The 347-hectare airport is expected to be fully operational by December 2024, with limited operations starting in June.

The airport, worth Rp 4.3 trillion (US$269 million), is located about 43 kilometers from the center of Nusantara, and will be connected by an existing road and a 23-km toll road.

“The airport is a special airport to support government services in IKN and support connectivity in the capital city,” the president said in his speech, referring to the abbreviation used for the capital city.

The airport is planned to have a 3,000-meter runway and will be able to serve wide-body aircraft. The terminal area will occupy 7,350 square meters of space.

Jokowi is this week expected to launch a total of 10 projects worth Rp 12.5 trillion in Nusantara, which Indonesia is building from scratch amid the rainforests of Kalimantan.

The government has struggled to attract private investment in the $32-billion city, a flagship project of Jokowi’s aimed at moving the seat of government away from congested Jakarta.

The country has allocated Rp 40.6 trillion for the construction of Nusantara in its 2024 budget.

A consortium of Indonesian companies including energy firm Adaro, conglomerate Astra International, property firm Agung Sedayu Grup and energy company Barito Pacific have invested about Rp 20 trillion in Nusantara.

The consortium launched construction of a hotel in September this year. It is still unclear what other projects will be funded by this investment.

Last month, the Nusantara Capital City (IKN) Authority signed a deal with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) to help build a research and development center in the future capital city.

The partnership is also expected to see Blair’s think tank invite higher education institutions around the world, especially those in the United Kingdom, to build branch campuses in Nusantara.

The IKN Authority has been pushing to provide a world-level education center in the capital and is seeking cooperation with overseas universities, with officials saying that it had received a letter of intent from United States-based Stanford University’s Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability to open a branch campus.

Nusantara is expected to be officially launched on Aug. 17 next year to mark the country’s independence day.

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